Modern Dystopia

Tag Archive: France

Acma Tap – Military Vespa

Acma Tap – Military Vespa

Originally uploaded by Gomisan

Wow, I am slack with my France blogs. Well here’s a quick update. As you know, I’m back. So it’s really just a photo upload update, I’ve put some images of the “Acma Tap” or French Military Vespa up on my Flickr account.

This scooter was primarily intended for airborne troops and had a 75mm recoilless gun mounted on it. Just the thing for traffic jams.

I had a great time at the tank museum, but really it needs a full day to explore and I was in a bit of a hurry as my mum and her partner were waiting outside with no interest at all in room after room after room of tanks.

If you ever get a chance, and are a fan of military history this is THE place to check out. I’ll post photos of some of the other tanks and vehicles there soon, I promise!

Shanghai to Paris


Originally uploaded by Gomisan

Back to the regular program.

A quick blog on the Shanghai to Paris leg of my trip. I had about a 4 hour stopover in Shanghai, the airport seemed huge and semi deserted at the time I flew in. Signage wasn’t particularly clear but I managed to find my way through.

Of note was the insistence of immigration control to see my flight details, luckily I had requested a copy, and printed out my e-ticket! Flight Centre hadn’t supplied this without my prompting and it was needed! Luckily my printout seemed to suffice after it had been looked over by a couple of people and they stamped my passport and let me on my way.

I found my way to the departure area, and was passed through not one, but two security checkpoints. First my baggage got a cursory scan then I had the full empty pockets, laptop out, face scanned by a camera, body scanned with a wand treatment.

From there to the departure lounge, which had a long row of duty free shops, but a very poor selection. A few clothes, some perfumes and chocolates etc, but no tech gear. I had really been hoping to pick up a small video camera for Tania but nothing like it to be seen.

I was tired, and hungry so I sat down in a little cafe there and paid some ridiculous amount for a ham/cheese sandwich, some fries and an awful apple/celery juice which tasted like water.

I was also hanging out for a cigarette, and I had overheard someone mention a smoking room, so I sought it out. A dingy tobacco stained room, walled with tiles and metal benches. I think I’ve posted a photo on Flickr. Certainly put me off enjoying the smoke, so I returned pretty quickly to the gate and stretched out on the seats and tried to get some rest.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful, if a bit long. Over 12 hours. Again I had two seats to myself, my neighbour having spotted a free row of four and taken himself off there to stretch out and sleep! In fact it seemed half the plane reorganised itself to get more comfortable the flight must have only been half to 2/3rds full.

The predominance of frenchmen/women aboard was notable, and the inflight “Sunshine Callisthenics” had none of the participation I had seen on the first leg, rather I think I was one of the few who took part, and it really helped again!

Paris, zipped through immigration, short wait for my bag and out. No customs check! felt weird to just be allowed to walk out without having my stuff inspected, I guess I’m used to Australia’s stringent requirements. I made my way to the train, absolutely stuffed by this point.

Trains are trains anywhere, I got on, got off, shoved my way through peak hour crowds of parisians, got on another, got off made my way to the platforms where I needed to be for my train to Briare.

Of course that makes it all seem rather simple. Not so! I’m not travelling light, and really couldn’t sit down. Escalators were out in one station and I had to haul my baggage up a long flight. I’d left my Paris to Briare train ticket back in Australia and with a few phrases of french hastily texted to me by Helen I tried to sot out a replacement. This is turns out, is impossible. I had to buy a NEW ticket. Fuck. Except, they had my reservation, so they sold me the same seat again. Red tape gone mad. It was lucky I did have a reservation though, as I hadn’t realised I was travelling at the start of France’s biggest national weekend and the trains were all full.

So on train to Briare, next stop, seeing my Mum and John for the first time in 5 months!

Leaving Sydney


Originally uploaded by Gomisan

OK, I’m finally catching up on some blogging. Only a week late!

In my last post I was on King St Sydney and about to meet up with Nina and friends for dinner.

Well Megan had dropped me in town and I wandered down towards King St, stopping by a number of shops on the way. Gallery Serpentine, Reactor Rubber. Then on King St Istarted spending money, first at Slim’s Vintage, then at Faster Pussycat. Both great little shops, and to be honest if I’d been there earlier in the day, and it hadn’t been cold and raining I would have explored more shops and probably been broke before I even left Australia.

Dinner was at Cicciolina ( ) and it was FANTASTIC! I had the Seafood Hotpot and it was just mouth wateringly to die for. Fresh water scampi, king prawns, black mussels, calamari, fish fillet, garlic, chilli in a basil tomato sauce. If you are in Sydney, and get a chance don’t miss it.

After dinner we drank cocktails at a cool cocktail bar across the road whose name escapes me. But suffice to say they were damn nice too and I sucked down quite a few.

All this left me with a bit of a hangover as I boarded my flight to Shanghai. I’ve posted a pic from the plane. Pretty much standard fare I guess, if maybe a bit less sophisticated than Malaysian Airlines. But I gather China Eastern Airlines are one of the biggest chinese airlines so I wasn’t too fussed.

I must say the food on the flight to Shanghai was actually really good, and the flight attendants friendly. The plane was mostly filled with Chinese heading home and the whole atmosphere on the plane was good. I was lucky and had 2 seats to myself, which gave me room to stretch and get some sleep. Something that was appreciated also was the inflight callisthenics that they did as the flight grew near an end. I woke from a half sleep to see almost everyone on board waving arms about in unison, and I quickly joined in. The difference it made to my stiff tired joints was miraculous!

Anyway, I’ll leave it there. My next blog will continue from Shanghai airport. I’ll try and get it written after dinner.

Medieval Weaponry

Medieval weaponry

Originally uploaded by Gomisan

Fun in france 2007. Watching demonstrations of siege weapons! This video of Seige Engines in action was shot at St Brisson in the Loire valley. Although they were only bombarding a forest with melons, it’s easy to imagine the effects of these weapons in their time.

Sent using a Sony Ericsson mobile phone

Get me back to France!

After my short trip to France last year, I really want to get back. Even more so because my mum has now moved their permanently AND she is getting married there in July!

chatillon postcard

Things have been really tough financially this year though, so my savings are a meagre $700 out of an estimated $4000 that the trip (including airfares) will cost me.

So… live vicariusly through me, sponsor my trip to France and i’ll send you a special photo taken just for you. Hey I’ll even include your name in my book of photos which I’ll be self publishing when I return!